Depressurize!

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stressI’ve been feeling super stressed out lately. I am also well aware that stress makes me probably THE least fun mom in the world. All I want to do is get to where the stress ends, and thinking about it starts to take over my entire being. My thoughts tend to sound like this: “if I can make it to Monday, the Baptism will be over and I can relax. Oh, wait, Mondays we have play-group, early intervention, food shopping and dump run, then Cub Scouts. Okay, so if I can just make it to Tuesday, it’ll be okay. No, Tuesday I have to finish the paper that’s due on Monday because I won’t have time or energy to work on it Monday…” And it goes on from there.

So, stress management has been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t enjoy being, nor do I want to be, the mom who does nothing but make sure all the boxes get checked. I want my boys to remember their childhood as being FUN, not that mom was a stick-in-the-mud who only cared about homework, baths, chores, and junk like that.

I finished up some major stuff – like paperwork for the Children’s Hospital for Kyle’s developmental evaluation (holy crap, we’re talking 30 pages!), my autobiographical piece for class (which was actually really fun to write), and I went to Kyle’s transition planning meeting to get the ball rolling for preschool. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but having the paperwork is done, the progress Kyle is making, and the clear plan we now have to follow is a huge relief.

What else could I do to avoid becoming a balled up mass of stress?

How about having some fun? Just letting go and being silly? **insert sound of hand smacking forehead here because I can’t believe I’m so stupid sometimes**

Since I would rather die than break a promise to my kids, I made a promise to Connor. During a week that was crazy busy and included Halloween and a hearing test for Kyle. And, even though I was already behind on school work and I knew we had to go bowling for Cub Scouts this morning, I kept it. AND IT WAS GREAT!

So what exactly was that promise that I made to Connor?

That we’d build the world’s most awesome blanket fort, watch movies, and have AMAZING junky snacks!

We started out with The Borrowers while I set up the fort and made the snacks. Building a blanket fort is actually pretty easy and doesn’t have to involve rearranging your entire house – I used the largest, somewhat light-weight blanket we have, tied kitchen twine around each corner, then tied the corners to anything I could including 2 curtain rods, a door hinge, and a ceiling hook. It worked like a charm and was much better than using chairs as a foundation because I could actually sit in it comfortably without my hair feeling all static-y and gross.

S'more Crack DipWhile the boys were getting EVERY SINGLE PILLOW in our house and our two sleeping bags into the den, I worked on the snacks. I tried to keep it relatively simple this time, as we didn’t do very much cleaning-out of stuff before we built the fort and table space is always at a premium in the den to begin with. We had popcorn with real butter, and S’more Crack Dip. I kid you not – that’s what it’s called, and OMG, is it delicious! There’s a bonus too – you don’t have to get super-sticky while you eat it because you use the graham crackers to dip, instead of having two crackers with ooey, gooey, marshmallow-y, chocolately stuff overflowing them all over your hands. Thanks to the people over at Key Ingredient for the recipe!

We then watched Wall-e (we’ve seen it a million times, but my boys LOVE it, and we grown-ups actually enjoy it too), Toy Story of Terror, then Wreck-it Ralph. Yes, we were all up way too late and ate copious amounts of fattening, sugary, junk food…but it was SO worth it! Even though I’ve still got deadlines, a million things to plan for, Cub Scout meetings to arrange, and a 7-year-old that hates homework so much that he drags it out to last as long as humanly possible, it felt really good to just let it all go and be silly for a few hours.

Yes, that's me - Kyle just HAD to bury me with pillows...like 4 times. ;-)

Yes, that’s me – the blue thing in the upper-left corner is our blanket fort. I know I don’t look very happy in the picture, but a photographer hubby is not. 😉

I don’t feel buried by stress anymore – I feel too buried by love (and pillows)!

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